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Saturday, January 28, 2012


I am not in the habit of telling bad stories about myself. 
You must read this entry until the end to understand the title and why this merited a blog post.

Ask any mohel this question: What was your worst bris experience?

Some will talk about a family that may have been pushy or impatient
Some will talk about a hostile environment
Some will talk about a less than perfect circumcision
Some might even mention how once "a long time ago" a baby needed to go to the hospital to get stitches.

Truth is, those who have experienced the latter case, will probably not be willing to admit it.

I thank God every day that I have never had a baby who required any medical care beyond that which I provide for him.

But, were you to ask me the question, I would tell you about the time (6 years ago) the baby, a first boy in a wonderfully special family circumstance (can't give away more details... to protect the innocent), wouldn't clot after the bris. Back in his home, I literally bandaged and rebandaged him 8 or 9 times, to no avail.

Of course, he was crying the whole time. And while he was never in danger - he did not lose a significant amount of blood, because when I put pressure (without a bandage wrapped around), the bleeding is under control - things just did not seem right.

Meanwhile, the baby's parents and grandparents (who were also present) were giving me funny looks:
Is this normal? (No it isn't)
Why is it taking so long? (I don't know)
Is this your first bris? (no. I have done this hundreds of times)
Should we call a doctor? (If you feel it necessary, call the doctor).

I told them, "I am doing everything I normally do. I am using the bandages that promote hemostasis. I am wrapping them correctly. I am putting ample pressure, for more than the necessary length of time."

Then I spoke with the doctor, who had been briefed by the family. He told me, "How bad is it? If you think I need to suture him up, bring him over and I'll take care of it."

I said, "I don't think it's bad. The bris was done properly. He just isn't clotting. Here's what I'll do: I'll try it one more time, and if it doesn't work, we'll bring him to you."


I tried it one more time, accompanying the effort with a sincere and heartfelt prayer, and the next bandaging did the trick. No medical intervention required.

So why do I tell this story? Because over the weekend I happened to see the mother from this story - and when she saw me she said "OMG. You did his bris. I'll bet you remember it."

Yes. I remember it very clearly.

"You should know," she said, "a little while after the bris we had him tested. He does have a minor clotting problem."


I am sure I asked in those days if there was any history of hemophilia. I must have been told "No." Armed with the information I had, we proceeded with the bris in the proper time.

For me, this is a story that has waited a long time to come full circle. I am grateful for the vindication.


  1. Replies
    1. I am so very grateful to my dear wife for commenting on my story. I guess I'm just not controversial enough.


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